The article is about the political wives who've stood by their men when their men have been caught cheating on them, whether it be with other women or other men. The interesting thing about this article is that all these wives are portrayed as "good wives" for standing by their men. Most of these women (I can't say all, since I don't know the whole story for some of them) are, in my opinion, weak-willed women who have become doormats. Now, you might be surprised that I'd say that. Didn't these women do the right thing in standing by their man when he was caught cheating? Weren't they right to forgive and forget? Shouldn't they be heralded for having the strength to stick it out through the tough times? The short answers are: no, yes, and no.
Now, before you get the wrong idea about me, I completely disagree with divorce in every single case except marital unfaithfulness (which is the only instance where God allows it). Divorce is always always always wrong except when one or the other spouse is caught cheating. Okay, I think I've made myself clear on divorce. So, because these men were caught cheating, am I saying that these women should have divorced them? That is one question I can't answer. However, the point I'm trying to get to is this: standing by your man (or woman, if your wife is caught cheating) is not always a good thing, is not always the right thing and, in many cases, can make the situation worse. If I could sit down and talk to these women, I'd ask them one question. Where's the consequences for your husband's actions? These men cheated. In God's eyes, these wives would be justified in divorcing their husbands. If they decide to stay and try to work it out, that's their decision and it's neither wrong nor right. However, there still needs to be consequences. Where was the phone call where the wife tells her husband that his belongings are out on the front lawn and he isn't allowed back home until he's ready to fix this and promise that it'll never happen again? From a political point of view, these men regretted what they did - most of them had to resign whatever office they were holding and were disgraced in the public eye. But that's just humiliation and can be forgotten. (And public humiliation evidently isn't a good deterrent because men keep on getting caught cheating and have to resign). Now that these men don't hold political office anymore, they don't have to worry about public humiliation. So what's stopping them from cheating again? Why did they do it in the first place? Somewhere along the line, they crossed a line in their head that said they could cheat on their wife. How did that happen? Does the wife, perhaps, hold some responsibility in the matter? (And no, it's never the other spouse's fault when the first spouse cheats, but they still can hold some responsibility). If these men knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that their belongings would be out on the front lawn and they wouldn't be allowed back home if they were caught cheating, would these men still have cheated? I don't know. What I do know is, their belongings weren't out on the front lawn. In some cases, their wives covered for them. If these husbands cheated again, they know their wives would still be there for them, supporting them, covering for them. So where's the deterrent? What's stopping them from cheating again? (In the case of John Edwards, he's still seeing his mistress. The whole standing by your man thing didn't do a lot of good, now did it? Maybe if she'd had some consequences for him at the time, she could've either saved their marriage or ended the agony at that point.)
If my husband knew that he could cheat and I'd still be here for him and there'd be no consequences, there's a much better chance that he'd cheat. However, he knows that if he cheats, he'll lose his family. So even if he weren't an honorable man (which he is), that, in and of itself, would be a good deterrent. It takes a pretty morally-corrupt man to cheat when he knows he'll be kicked out of his house and lose his family. (I don't like using my husband as an example here, because I know he'd never cheat on me. However, I can't use any other husband as an example since he's the only one that I've got :))
For those wives, strength is not standing by your man, no matter what. Strength is telling your man: "ya know what? You cheated on me. You broke your vows to me and to God. We're going to be separated for the next six months as I work through the pain and betrayal. During that time, I'll decide if I'm willing to stay with you or if I'm going to divorce you." These men obviously don't value their wives and families. Maybe when they're faced with the possibility of losing it all, it'll knock some sense into them.
Why is it that, in the marriage relationship, consequences are seen as a bad thing and in every other relationship, are seen as a good thing? Your pet makes a mess on the carpet right in front of you, he gets a spank. Your child steals from the store, he gets grounded. You steal from the store, you're thrown in jail. You sin, God punishes you. Why is it that, when an egregious offense is committed in marriage, there's no consequences? It doesn't make sense.
One last thing - forgiveness is not an option. You have to forgive your husband or wife, no matter what.
Tough love is not easy but it is necessary.